Where’s My Deodorant?
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:6
A couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t find my deodorant as I was getting ready one morning. I looked in all the likely places but it was simply gone. I knew I hadn’t taken it out of the bathroom, so I asked my wife if she’d seen it or hidden it for some reason. She hadn’t, but she kindly came to help me look for it. She found it after about two seconds of looking . . . right in front of me on the middle of our bathroom countertop. I’m not sure how I missed that. A day or two later, I couldn’t find my sandals that I wear around the house. Again, I looked in all the usually spots to no avail. I thought – My wife is good at finding things. So, I asked her to help. Again, she found them next to my bed, covered with a pillow that I’d thrown off in the middle of the night.
At that point, she began to feel like I wasn’t even trying. I must admit that even though I felt like I’d tried, I obviously hadn’t looked very hard. Rather, I just began skipping to the part where she found my stuff for me. She was very nice about it, but she did encourage me to at least try in the future. Use your eye holes next time.
This is akin to the message in today’s passage. In it, Jesus commended those in the church in Sardis who’d kept themselves unstained by the sinful culture around them. He also chastised those Christians who’d immersed themselves in the same sinful culture. He went on to promise that only those who remained faithful would have their names written in the book of life. Then, he called all of us to consciously choose to use our ears – He who has an ear, let him hear. . .
Like me, sort of looking for my deodorant and sandals, we often sort of listen to God. Yes, we go to church on Sunday. We own a Bible, and we probably know most of the stories. When it comes to big life decisions – college, occupation, career, marriage – we may go to God, asking his will. Do we actually listen to his daily will for us though? Do we daily live as Jesus commanded – obeying him and loving our neighbors? Or do we simply follow ourselves most of the time? Listening, like me looking for something, is a conscious choice that we must practice and learn to do well, or by default, we will remain deaf and blind, causing ourselves endless and needless misery.